News

Lifetime offices closed but ‘business goes on’ and clients can contact financial planners and staff

All our lives are in some sort of upheaval due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We know that people are anxious right now, including our clients. Even those who have a long-term, trusted relationship with their Lifetime financial planner may be concerned about their money and investments, as the Coronavirus continues to impact the UK and the world.

Rest assured, as a company we are continuously monitoring developments and government notifications, and thanks to the innovation we embarked upon over a year ago we are in a position whereby we can maintain our commitment of excellent client service.

These are not normal days we are living through, of course, so we have taken the necessary steps to protect our staff as best we can, and to protect the running of the company.

In line with government guidelines, the Lifetime offices are closed until further notice, but a good number of our staff are working from home.

And so, for the most part, it remains ‘business as usual’.

We understand that, in these uncertain months, you might need our services more than ever. Keeping clients reassured and informed is of paramount importance to us, especially with the ever-changing Coronavirus news and guidelines we are given.

Our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communications team and support staff are all set up to continue working through this crisis, at home, and we can deal with calls, emails and client meetings via Zoom screen-to-screen technology.

If you need us for anything in this unprecedented time, then please call your financial planner on their mobile number. If you have not got that number then phone office number 01226 208600 for further instructions.

We do urge all our existing clients, if they haven’t already done so, to register to our safe and secure online Client Portal, where all your documentation can be stored and you can communicate with us.

If you are not already set up on the portal then please get in touch with our Communications team, by email, at communicationsdept@lifetime-fm.com and they will help get you registered. If we haven’t got your email address, or if you have a new one, then please let our Communications Department know so they can send you a registration email.

And to those people who are currently looking for advice regarding their finances, be it financial planning, pensions, investments or for a mortgage, we are here, ready, willing and able to help.

These are turbulent times, we know and appreciate that. Together we will get through it.

Stay safe.

– Your Lifetime Team

Lifetime are also very active online, in particular in terms of our social media.

If you don’t already do so then please connect with us on the following platforms. We put a lot of stuff out and it is a great way to stay connected.

Twitter: @LifetimeFM

Facebook: Lifetime Financial Planners

Linkedin: Lifetime

Instagram: iamflo_lifetime

Website: www.lifetime-fm.com

Lifetime clients appreciate message of support and guidance

Lifetime has been communicating regularly with clients during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, either by email, telephone or video technology, and the messages of support and guidance we have issued have been very much appreciated.

It is ‘business as usual’ for the company, with the majority of our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communication team and support staff working from home, and keeping everyone informed about what is going on during this unprecedented period.

And we have received some lovely responses from grateful clients.

Pension specialist Steve Lambarth has been busy contacting clients and keeping them fully informed and up to date, and he has received this nice message back. He’s particularly happy with the ‘star’ bit……..!

“Steve, you are a star. Thank you for your wisdom.”

He also had this one:

“Dear Steve, Many thanks for your call and email.  It is reassuring to know things are not as bleak as portrayed in the news. Regards to you and all your family in these strange times! PS: Thanks again for calling my Dad. He is always pleased to speak to an Owl!”

Financial planner Paul Lee has also received some great messages back. Here are a few:

“Paul, thank you for the mail. It is good to hear from you and I hope that you and your family are well. I am okay so far. I look forward to welcoming you in Ripon one day! Take care and best wishes.”

“Solid advice and a reassuring reminder Paul. It is comforting to know my hard earned money and investment is in safe hands. Many thanks all and stay safe.”

“Thank you for your email Paul, it is reassuring to receive messages such as yours. I put my faith in your company and know that you will do what is within your power to support the best outcome. What is more important than money is you and your family, so please keep safe. Best wishes.”

This one came from a client of Lifetime director and Technical Pension Specialist Jeff Winter:

“Jeff, I trust you and your family are keeping well. I’ve just picked up the communications from Lifetime which I find very encouraging in such dismal times. Like most with investments and ones that intend supporting the rest of my life, I have been watching with horror what the virus has done to the FTSE and balancing this with the human tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. It’s enough to make you question your sanity! But the missives from Lifetime are balanced, well timed and above all most appreciated. Stay well.”

Also, Pensions Department manager Tom received this one:

“Thank you for the awesome advice. Once again you have helped me out. This is why I use Lifetime. And I will always recommend you. Stay safe and l will see you when all this madness has gone.”

And Financial planner Brian Howard got this response:

“Thanks Brian for the email. Hope you and your family remain safe and well.”

Financial Planner Tracey Warring was told:

“Thank you for the email, it is nice to know even though the world is going through such a difficult time someone cares. My investments are in your hands and  I have every confidence in you and Lifetime. I look forward to our meeting when things improve.”

Fellow adviser Steve Baskind got this response:

“Thanks Stephen, worrying times when markets are down and everyone is losing on their investments. I realise its long term we have to look at. Just hope the markets bounce back.”

Director and pension specialist Rupert Smith got a very short and succinct reply!

“Helpful, ta.”

And lastly, from Lifetime Social Media Manager Andrew Lodge:

“I have had a lovely conversation with St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, who have received our latest referral scheme cheque, and wanted to thank us by telephone, as they are not sending out thank you letters by post.

“It was our pleasure. Stay safe.”

Lifetime’s case for Vanguard LifeStrategy

Following the communication earlier this week regarding discipline being one of an investor’s greatest ‘weapons’ we thought it would be beneficial to impart some of the very latest information provided by Vanguard to the United Kingdom’s adviser force via a webinar on 26th March 2020.

As we previously stated, the ability to ‘sit tight’ in uncertain financial times has never been more important and this is borne out by some of the empirical evidence provided by Vanguard.

The majority of our clients invest within a cautious to moderate or moderate environment utilising Vanguard’s LifeStrategy range of funds.

Between the 1st January 2020 and 24th March 2020 the LifeStrategy40% Equity Fund has demonstrated losses of 7.7% with the sector average showing losses of 16.2%.

The LifeStrategy60% Equity Fund has shown a loss of 11.8% against a sector average of 19.4% over the same period.

Although losses are not a desirable outcome the fact that the LifeStrategy funds are significantly outperforming their peers is very encouraging and testament to Lifetime’s investment principles.

It is also vital to once again stress the importance of having the discipline to wait for recovery if at all possible. Information provided by Vanguard on Thursday (26th March) provides reassurance in this regard.

At the height of the financial crisis (December 2007 to February 2009) the back-tested LifeStrategy40% showed maximum losses of 14.54%. The recovery time for the fund following that time period was 6 months. The LifeStrategy60% fund showed back-tested maximum losses of 21.80% and took a slightly longer 9 months to recover. If nothing else this demonstrates the need for patience.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your adviser directly who I’m sure will be happy to address them.

Rupert Smith – Director (Chair of Investment Committee – Lifetime)

Wrap platform Transact ‘resilient and financially strong’

One of our main wrap platforms of choice, Transact, has issued words of encouragement during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Transact released a statement which read:

“We are continuing to review and implement guidance as it is received from the government. All of our staff are now working from home.

“Our priorities remain the welfare of our staff and delivering the best service possible for our clients, while monitoring and adhering to UK government advice and guidance relating to COVID-19 Coronavirus.

“Staff are adapting well to the new working arrangement and we are taking steps to ease this transition for them.

“Transact’s parent company, Integrafin Holdings plc, is a financially sound business with capital and liquidity well in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. Our 2019 financial results confirmed that we are profitable and hold over £40m liquid capital over and above our requirements. We remain financially strong and resilient.

“Our Transact staff continue to be committed to delivering the best service possible and your patience and understanding is much appreciated in these challenging times.”

 

Message of support to our clients in these turbulent times

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has introduced real uncertainty and trepidation into economies and markets.

We fully understand investors’ concerns about the potential effects of the coronavirus outbreak on their money.

Yet there are reasons why investors should remain disciplined.

A Lifetime director received a message from a client, through our secure online portal, stating they were nervous and should they sell to cash.

The director’s response went something like this: “A lot of people are indeed getting nervous in what are strange and worrying times. However, I would suggest that one of an investor’s biggest ‘weapons’ is discipline and to sell to cash now might make you feel more secure in the immediate future but it may be a long term mistake.

“There are undoubtedly people selling assets now (and taking a loss) and then there are wealthy people who are hoovering them up cheaply knowing that they will recover in time and they will make plenty of money.

“The message is – sit tight! We will get through this together.”

Investment Management company Vanguard, who we are in partnership with in order to invest our clients’ money, have also been in touch with us with a similar message:

“Sell-offs are a normal part of market behaviour. We’ve had a couple in the last few years. This has been sharper than those, but it is entirely to be expected. Since 1980 there have been 15 corrections of 10% or more and 5 bear markets, declines of 20% or more.”

“We know it’s not easy but discipline is key.

“We’re saddened by the loss and suffering that so many people have already endured, as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads around the world.

“Vanguard has a stellar global team of economists. But they’re not epidemiologists. Predicting the course of a disease as novel as the coronavirus is sure to challenge even the most accomplished medical scientists.

“That said, this is what we do know, from an economic and markets standpoint:

The coronavirus has introduced uncertainty into the global economy to a degree greater than we had envisioned when we put together our economic and market outlook for 2020.

Investors frequently respond cautiously to heightened uncertainty, selling out of riskier assets in favour of safe havens.

Markets have shown over their history that volatility is more the rule than the exception, and that events that prompt sell-offs tend to recede into the background over the longer term.

“With this knowledge, we encourage investors, as we have for ages, to hold a diversified portfolio of assets, to remain disciplined by avoiding impulsive decisions based on fear and uncertainty, and to stay focused on their long-term goals and their plan for achieving them.

“LifeStrategy is a hugely diversified, low cost solution delivering benchmark returns and aims to weather all market cycles.

“The markets have fallen all around the world – no region has been immune from this.

“It is often hard to identify the reason for market falls. In this case it’s easy – the worldwide spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

“However, Vanguard has been saying for a long time that we believe equity valuations are at the top end of expectations and therefore more volatility is to be expected. This is especially the case after the very strong and unexpected market gains of the last year. Coronavirus has increased the uncertainty around the global economy so a sell-off is not surprising.

Sell-offs are a normal part of market behaviour. We’ve had a couple in the last few years. This has been much sharper than those, but it is entirely to be expected.

“We believe that investing in a portfolio with a suitable level of risk remains the best course of action for long-term investors. Cash returns are incredibly low, and given the sell-off in markets, expected returns over the next decade (which is the time frame investors should be thinking of) should be slightly higher.

“Risk and reward as we all know are closely correlated, and that if an investor is in the right portfolio for them, they should be able to ride out the volatility.

“Of course prices may continue to fall.

“Investors tend to react badly when markets fall and take risk off the table. For long-term investors this is usually not the right course of action.”

Maintaining this message at the moment is important.

Rest assured, as a company we are continuously monitoring developments and government notifications, and thanks to the innovation we embarked upon over a year ago we are in a position whereby we can maintain our commitment of excellent client service.

These are not normal days we are living through, of course, so we have taken the necessary steps to protect our staff as best we can, and to protect the running of the company. In line with government guidelines, we have now the majority of our staff working remotely. And so, for the most part, it remains ‘business as usual’.

Our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communications team and support staff are all set up to continue working through this crisis, most of them away from the office, and we can deal with calls, emails and client meetings via screen-to-screen technology.

So hopefully you will see no tangible difference in the service you receive from us.

We do urge all our existing clients, if they haven’t already done so, to register to our safe and secure online Client Portal, where all your documentation can be stored and you can communicate with us.

If you are not already set up on the portal then please get in touch with our Communications team, by email, at communicationsdept@lifetime-fm.com and they will help get you registered. If we haven’t got your email address, or if you have a new one, then please let our Communications Department know so they can send you a registration email.

These are turbulent times, we know and appreciate that. Together we will get through it.

Thank you for reading.

Your Lifetime Team

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – an update from Lifetime

We are living in unprecedented times – and sometimes that leads to unprecedented steps.

We know that people are anxious right now, including our clients. Even those who have a long-term, trusted relationship with their Lifetime financial planner may be concerned about their money and investments, as the Coronavirus continues to impact the UK and the world.

All our lives are in some sort of upheaval due to the rapid spread of the virus.

Rest assured, as a company we are continuously monitoring developments and government notifications, and thanks to the innovation we embarked upon over a year ago we are in a position whereby we can maintain our commitment of excellent client service.

These are not normal days we are living through, of course, so we have taken the necessary steps to protect our staff as best we can, and to protect the running of the company.

In line with government guidelines, we have now the majority of our staff working remotely.

And so, for the most part, it remains ‘business as usual’.

We understand that, in these uncertain months, you might need our services more than ever. Keeping clients reassured and informed is of paramount importance to us, especially with the ever-changing Coronavirus news and guidelines we are given.

Our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communications team and support staff are all set up to continue working through this crisis, most of them away from the office, and we can deal with calls, emails and client meetings via screen-to-screen technology.

So hopefully our loyal clients will see no tangible difference in the service they receive from us.

We do urge all our existing clients, if they haven’t already done so, to register to our safe and secure online Client Portal, where all your documentation can be stored and you can communicate with us.

If you are not already set up on the portal then please get in touch with our Communications team, by email, at communicationsdept@lifetime-fm.com and they will help get you registered. If we haven’t got your email address, or if you have a new one, then please let our Communications Department know so they can send you a registration email.

And to those people who are currently looking for advice regarding their finances, be it financial planning, pensions, investments or for a mortgage, we are here, ready, willing and able to help.

These are turbulent times, we know and appreciate that. Together we will get through it.

– Your Lifetime Team

 

‘In times like these many people start to think about their protection needs’

‘Lifetime will find a way to help people sort out their protection cover’ says financial planner Robert Bligh.

Robert (pictured below), who is based in Lifetime’s Driffield office, has urged people to make sure they have the necessary protection policies in place.

He says:”In times like these many people start to think about their protection needs, life, critical illness and income protection.

“If you, or friends and family are worried about this element, we can help underwrite clients quite speedily.

“And for accountants and businesses, if If you have clients, and are not sure how you go about arranging protection ‘screen to screen’, then give me a call and I can show you what to do, or in times like this, I can arrange it for you.

“Don’t leave clients ‘uninsured’ because you don’t know how to cover them – we will find a way.”

Robert Bligh DipFA, DipFS

Barnsley Office: 01226 208600

Driffield Office: 01377 593110

Lifetimer Liam chalks up RO5 exam success

Lifetimer Liam Burnett is a delighted young man this week – after passing the RO5 finance exam.

The RO5 exam focuses on financial protection and forms part of the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

Research Administrator Liam, who is on his placement year from university, was rewarded for all his study work with an exam pass.

Many congratulations Liam! Onwards and upwards!

Let Flo help find answers to those important questions you keep asking yourself

People often seek financial advice because of a specific issue, such as a concern over a pension policy, but right at the heart of that need is one overriding thing: peace of mind.

It is an important goal and what cash flow financial modelling is all about.

Are these the sort of questions you keep asking yourself? If so, come and talk to us. Let #Flo be your guide. You will get answers.

Will I have enough?
When can I retire? / Can I afford to retire?
Could I work part-time?
Why should I be saving?
What would happen if a parent goes into a care home?
How do I pay my bills if I can’t work?
Will my partner and kids be okay if I became really ill?
Have I enough to do the things I want in the future?
I am anxious about money
Can I afford to start a new business?
Am I doing the right thing?
I want to know if I can have that ‘big holiday’ I’ve always dreamed of
Talking about my money scares me
Can I afford to take risks with my savings?
What size mortgage can I afford?
I want to be able to help my children with their future
I need advice but don’t know who I can trust

Survey suggests one in five people are ‘in the dark’ about their pensions

Almost one in five people (19%) never access information about their pensions.

That is according to a survey carried out by Populus for the ABI.

The survey, which was undertaken in November 2019, covered 2,008 consumers. It found that many people were in the dark about their pension pots – and could potentially miss out on the sort of retirement they crave.

The ABI says the planned Pensions Dashboard will be critical to engaging people with their pensions and improving this figure. The Pensions Schemes Bill, which will include the dashboard initiative among other measures, is currently making its way through the Committee Stage in the House of Lords.

The study also found that how people access information about their pensions varied quite noticeably according to age groups, as revealed below:

  • 18 – 34 year olds prefer a mobile banking app – (54%)
  • 35 – 54 year olds prefer online banking – (41%)
  • 55 and overs prefer their pension providers’ website – (54%)

A real concern emerging from the survey is that about one in five adults admitted to having lost a pension pot – and research by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) suggests these are worth at least £19.4 billion.